The Paris attacks as you can imagine have dominated the news coverage in France this week. I’ve felt a combination of sadness and anger, and an acknowledgement that this will not be an isolated incident. Of course the ongoing situation is complex. And yes terrorism occurs all over the world. We can become immune to its presence until it touches one’s own country (or temporary home). But life must go on. Slowly the tourist landmarks are reopening. The Eiffel Tower glowed this week in blue, white and red and there will be an official ceremony for the Paris victims next Friday.
So this weekend I’m thinking of Paris and French perfumes that I associate with the city, or those that shine some light and joy. Those happiness in a bottle fragrances. I attempted to not mention any perfumes I’ve previously written about but couldn’t quite do it!
01 : Paris : Yves Saint Laurent : Sophia Grossman : 1983 : Paris in bloom at the Musée Rodin
The most obvious choice that pays homage to Saint Laurent‘s city through a vivid rose and violet lens, smeared with a lipstick vibe. Glorious with an overblown 80’s feel.
02 : Absolue Pour Le Soir : Maison Francis Kurkdjian : 2010 : Making out in the Marais
My hands down favourite from the line by this uber talented perfumer. I first discovered this perfume in Paris and fell in love with it. Absolue Pour Le Soir is a perfume lovers favourite for good reason with a narcotic mix of honey, incense, spices, benzoin and rose that adds up to something unforgettably passionate.
03 : Diptyque : Volutes : Fabrice Pellegrin : 2012 : Smoke on the Seine
Volutes which I have written about previously reminds me strongly of Paris as it was one of my first perfume purchases when I fell under the spell of the scented embrace. I bought it after one sniff, which was perhaps a little reckless, but thankfully I still love it. Volutes is a sheer tobacco with hints of iris that has more tenacity than expected. If you visit Paris, definitely make a visit to the original Diptyque store at 34 Boulevard St Germain. It is a visual treat, retaining its quirky charm.
04 : Serge Lutens : Jeux de Peau : Christopher Sheldrake : 2011 : Boulangerie beauty
Of course a Lutens had to make the list. It’s one of my favourite houses and I first became aware of this perfume’s charms when I smelt it in Printemps in Paris. Jeux de Peau has a doughy, thick smell reminiscent of patisseries and jam. This perfume haunted me and was purchased soon after.
05 : Frederic Malle : Le Parfum de Thérèse : Edmond Roudnitska : 2000 : A scented love story from Amelie’s Les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain
This gorgeous scent created by one of the most celebrated perfumers of last century was a slow burner for me. But once it grabs you, I believe you’ll be hooked for life. Le Parfum de Thérèse was originally made by Roudnitska for his wife Thérèse in the 1950’s. Frédéric Malle coaxed Thérèse and her son Michel to include the perfume in his collection. There’s more to it than meets the eye, so definitely try it more than once and give it some time. The melon and fruits mix brilliantly with the leather and vetiver. The tension in this perfume is pitch perfect as it should be.
06 : Etat Libre d’Orange : La Fin Du Monde : Quentin Bisch : 2013 : Art at the Centre George Pompidou
Etat Libre D’Orange the Parisian based perfume house has created a splash with its provocative marketing and tongue in cheek humour. This is one of my favourites from the range – it’s a popcorn mash up with iris and spices. It’s one of those perfumes that really shouldn’t work and is perhaps slightly trashy. All the better for it.
07 : Thierry Mugler : Angel : Olivier Cresp and Yves de Chirin : 1992 : Angelic view from the Sacré Coeur
La Vie Est Belle was the biggest seller in France last year, but I prefer Angel, its bizarre older cousin. Angel has a fluid character with lashings of candy floss fluff, fruits and patchouli. Sometimes it wears like a slap in the face or a loud wake up call. Spray this and strut through the streets of Paris. I guarantee that Angel will be keeping you company for hours.
08 : Guerlain : La Petite Robe Noire : Thierry Wasser : 2012 : Macaron indulgence at Ladurée
This fruity floral gourmand is nearly as good as sampling a delicious macaron. Yes there’s something sweet and delicious about LPRN with the cherry and almond, but a chewiness too, grounded by a version of the heavenly Guerlain base. A flirty perfume that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
09 : Viktoria Minya : Hedonist : 2013 : A night out at the Crazy Horse
I’m a big fan of Hedonist. It’s a perfect celebratory scent. One sniff of this boozy rum, peach and osmanthus perfume and I’m ready to glam up. High heels and all.
10 : L’Artisan Parfumeur : Mûre et Musc : Jean – Francois Laporte : 1978 : Strolling at the Canal Saint – Martin
A fruity musky perfume with blackberry swirling around the edges from one of the first niche brands. Mûre et Musc has a balance of sweetness and musk that will help banish the blues. Still one of the brand’s best sellers.
Well with so many choices available I know I haven’t even mentioned a Chanel, Dior or Hermes!
Do you have perfumes that remind you of Paris?
Notes : Images : Featured : Musee Rodin : All photos Megan In Sainte Maxime except : lagoradesarts.fr : Marais gardens : fattiretours.com : wikipedia : Amelie : pinterest : Etat Libre D’Orange and Frederic Malle photos from the brands : View from Sacre Coeur : paris1972-versailles2003.com